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Talk:List of towns in New Zealand

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I suspect some towns are missing from this. For example, I don't know why Statistics New Zealand doesn't list Kaiapoi as an urban area! Maybe they include it in the Christchurch urban area but I don't think so (and if so, it shouldn't be). If one town is missing then I suppose others probably are as well. I've given up trying to find a better definitive list of NZ towns, maybe someone else will have better luck sometime. RossA 09:28, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • Kaiapoi and Rangiora are the main towns of the Waimakariri District, in case you're interested.:robinp 00:26, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Statistics New Zealand includes Kaiapoi in Christchurch Urban Area. Rangiora is a separate urban area. How this discussion relates to this page (which is about towns, not urban areas) I don't know. There is no government department which defines towns and cities*. New Zealand Post (an SOE) does define towns for use with their address database. Whether this is formal or informal I don't know. (*City Councils are, of course, defined, but the meaning of city in this context is clearly different from the term city as a local government unit.) (talk) 02:27, 27 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think Statistics NZ uses some non-administrative units to aggregate the statistics. Makes things a bit confusing. The glossary describes a thing called a "meshblock". There are actually three different entries for Kaiapoi! I haven't come across an authoritative list of all towns in NZ yet. Bkonrad 20:12, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Rather than relying on statistical areas or official definitions*, I have taken the initiative by grabbing a map and adding settlements which I think would merit the name "town" or "township" from most people.
Missing in particular were:
  • Towns close to cities - Papakura, Orewa, Kumeu, Taradale, Havelock North, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Wainuiomata. Most of these are separated from their adjacent urban areas by green belt or some topographical feature, and most have a self-contained business district and a sense of identity. I have omitted Albany, which was a town 20 years ago but has since become contiguous with the greater Auckland urban area.
  • Centres in isolated areas. The lower population limit can reasonably be regarded as flexible where a town is the centre of a population area, particularly if it has features or a history which deserves to be written about. E.g. Collingwood and Karamea.
I guess the next step is to start creating stub articles for all these towns!
dramatic 02:00, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Have at it. Should there be some template to use for NZ towns? Some standard info, like location (e.g., on the west coast on the north end of the North Island)? Or perhaps nearest city or cities (with km)? Population? GPS coordinates? Geographical features? Bkonrad 17:09, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree. Inclusion of location maps should also feature strongly. --Seriocomic 05:30, 26 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • On non-administrative units: (1) The US census does the same. "Census Delineated Areas", I think they call them. (2) NZ meshblocks are generally small, eg 50 houses; not relevant to this discussion except on sparely-populated areas. :robinp 00:35, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    • I've seen 1) abbreviated as CDP -- don't remember what the 'P' stands for. 2) Unless I'm misunterstanding what StatNZ is calling a meshblock, it looks like some of them have 1000s of people in them. The real problem with them is that a meshblock might include a whole bunch of individual communities. As Dramatic suggested, it seems as though the only way to identify these communities is by looking at a map. Hope you add some info to Wikipedia about the towns. Bkonrad 01:00, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
      • My mistake - CDP it is (and some have far more population than some cities). But on New Zealand mesblocks I was about right (so maybe "area units" were in Bkonrad's mind) - http://www.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/Web/carsweb.nsf/94772cd5918085044c2567e6007eec2c/75e2a713aed6f2d5cc256b410005d987?OpenDocument  ::robinp 08:47, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
        • No, I saw this definition. Note its mention of the great variation in area and population of meshblocks. I could have sworn that I saw some rural meshblocks with 1000s of residents. Bkonrad | Talk 12:24, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
        • Er, um, I'll have to eat my words. I just checked one of the entries I thought had 1000s and it said it was based on area units. Thing is link to the glossary term in the articles don't work. You have to go to "Statistical Methods" and then to "Glossary" to look up a term. Bkonrad | Talk 12:29, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Great to see the enthusiasm. Anyone wanting to take this further will be helped by a look at the subcategories I've created for regions and their constituent districts and cities on Zeal: http://zeal.com/category/preview.jhtml?cid=10110301

robinp 00:35, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Maybe it's time to remove the source attribution (just make it an external link). dramatic 10:12, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree, done. RossA 21:57, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Great job[edit]

Good work on this robinp. Bkonrad | Talk 23:47, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks, Bk. Now in the middle of the night I thought "what about other islands?" - Stewart, Chathams, and Great Barrier all have settlements on them. It's a never-ending job... Actually, I have a penfriend in England who grew up on Great Barrier Is and runs a website extolling it. I'll talk to him about Wikipedia. [In case anyone wonders, GBI is within Auckland City!] :robinp 01:23, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)


(This is in response to the addition of Howick)

I do not think that this is an appropriate list for localities which are now suburbs of major cities. Otherwise the list could be endless. Consider Riccarton and Sydehnam, inner suburbs of Christchurch which had quite distinct identities (and separate councils) a century ago. It becomes difficult to set a cut-off point. There is plenty of scope for a (mainly historical) article on Howick, but the best place to link to it would be from the article Auckland. dramatic 11:57, 17 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

Categories and stubs[edit]

Great work on extending the articles that lead off this page, but... please, if the towns are in any of the regions with categories (currently southland, Otago, Canterbury, West Coast, Nelson, Marlborough, Auckland, Waikato, and Northland), then add the categories!. Also, if you're creating a stub for a geograpical location, use (curly brackets x 2) geo-stub not (curly brackets x 2) stub! Grutness 07:39, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Update: All the regions of New Zealand now have categories, so every new town article should get one. They are:
    • Northland, New Zealand
    • Auckland
    • Waikato
    • Thames/Coromandel, New Zealand
    • Bay of Plenty/East Coast, New Zealand
    • Central North Island, New Zealand
    • Taranaki
    • Wellington/Kapiti
    • Manawati/Wanganui
    • Hawkes Bay/Wairarapa
    • Marlborough, New Zealand
    • Nelson, New Zealand
    • West Coast, New Zealand
    • Canterbury, New Zealand
    • Otago
    • Southland, New Zealand
    • New Zealand outlying islands
All town articles should also be put in the category:Cities and towns of New Zealand


Is the list open for expansion? If so, perhaps there should be some level of minimum size for inclusion (if only for guidance), or perhaps some loose definition of the mininum - i.e. a settlement, not being rural in nature, comprising some form of shared infrastructure. --Seriocomic 05:26, 26 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think we need a minimum population[edit]

I've written a number of articles on villages and rural localities in New Zealand lately, but I'm hesitant to add them to this list. I've added some as I noticed other settlements with populations below 300-500 had been added already, but with some really small settlements, I'm just not sure if they belong. Maybe we should set a minimum population of, say, 500 and then make a list of villages and localities in New Zealand for the smaller settlements? Or shall we just throw everything in here? - Axver 07:54, 4 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Shouldn't this be a category?[edit]

Shouldn't this be a category? Then, any article on a town could have the category link at the bottom. Also, an infobox might be useful

Edit: Sorry, there already is a category but not an infobox

SSGA18 Standard - Rural Settlements[edit]

I have just added Owhango. I was looking at this list earlier after reversing a recent change made to the page for Tapawera where the description was changed from "small town" to "hamlet". (I don't consider "hamlet" to be a term that many New Zealanders would apply to a place in NZ.)

After noticing references in the earlier comments about on this page the Stats standards I eventually ended up at the following:


That includes the following definition of a "Rural Settlement" for the SSGA18 standard:

A cluster of residential dwellings about a place that usually contains at least one communal or public building.

Rural settlement criteria:

  • 200–1,000 residents, or more than 40 residential dwellings
  • represent a reasonably compact area or have a visible centre of population with medium population density
  • usually contain at least one community or public building, such as a church, school, or shop.

Includes newly identified rural settlements in rural areas and rural settlements that were part of an urban area in NZSAC92. In 2018, there are 400 rural settlements.

This seems like a reasonable baseline to me for what might otherwise be called a "small town" in NZ.

SeeNoEvil (talk) 12:35, 27 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Kekerengu is a small community on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand near the Canterbury - Marlborough border. It has one cafe/ resteraunt called The Store. 2404:4404:2742:3600:902F:2B29:E92F:6C78 (talk) 12:44, 26 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I've added it to the list. If no one else does so earlier, I will eventually write an article on it.-gadfium 18:45, 26 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]